Put on Your Underwear, We Need to Talk.

When I was 11, I found something of my Dad’s that I wasn’t supposed to.  No, it wasn’t a nudie magazine (though I did once find his Zap comics).  It was a cassette tape of a psychic reading about me done by a friend of his.  And, boy, was it a doozy.  Without even asking for permission, I popped the tape into the tape deck and pressed play.  I don’t remember much of what I heard, but what I do remember stuck with me and will probably be with me forever.

“Tiffany will get divorced and have one son.”

I remember my stomach dropping when I heard that.  One son?  Just one kid?  And a boy?  The divorce stuff kind of bummed me out, too, but when I was 11 I was lucky when a boy even talked to me, so the thought of marriage was far in the distance.  But, even at a young age, I knew I wanted to be a mother to a little girl one day.

So, I grew up and 18 years later I got married.  And, about a month ago, I got divorced.  So, wouldn’t you know it? The psychic was right.  No sons yet, though, so I’m still dubious.

My Dad had a lot of friends who claimed to be psychic.  I don’t know if any of them were.  I don’t think I even believe that someone can be psychic—at least not in the way we talk about psychics.  I do believe, however, that some people can have strong intuition. I believe that because I am one of those people.

But, I didn’t start listening to my intuition until very recently.

Sure, 50% of marriages end in divorce, so the odds of the psychic being right were pretty high.  At least that’s what my husband told me as he was walking out on me and I said “the psychic was right!”  But, on some level, I think I always knew he was going to walk out, and I’ll tell you why—I had dreams.

I had a recurring dream for years.  In that dream, my husband would ask me to sit down and he would say “Tiff, I love you, and I’m going to help you through this, but I’ve got to go.”  I had a variation of that dream many, many times.  Every time I had the dream, I woke up and told my husband about it.  Each time he would say “I will never leave you.” I also had another recurring dream that I was back in the dating world and experiencing break up after break up.  I recall being confused by this particular dream and swearing, during the dream, that I was with someone.  Then, I would wake up and see my husband lying next to me.  That’s some major cognitive dissonance right there.

I suppose the dreams may have come because I never really felt like I knew my husband on more than a surface level.  He was very emotionally guarded with me.  But, I think the dreams were also a manifestation of my intuition that something was very wrong.

There was one dream, in that sea of nightmares, that stood out in my mind.  I dreamed that I was staring, deeply, into the eyes of a man and he was staring, deeply, back into mine.  I knew that I loved him and that he loved me.  All I could remember about his features was that he had a dark, black beard.

When I woke up, I was absolutely shaken and felt so alone, because I knew for certain that the dream was an intuition and that my husband would never make me feel as loved as the bearded man in my dreams did.

On the day my husband walked out, nearly a year ago, the conversation went something like the conversations in my recurring dreams had gone.  Except the actual conversation started differently.

“Put on your underwear, we need to talk,” he said.

When you get married, you don’t assume it’s all going to go up in flames and you certainly don’t assume the conversation, ending it all, will ever start like that.

Oh, you’re wondering why he said that?  I’m considering just letting you use your imagination to answer that question, because I’m sure whatever scenario you’ve concocted is a hell of a lot funnier.

We had just gotten back from dinner.  Because the best time to tell your wife you are leaving her is after a meal at an expensive restaurant.  I was in the bathroom, and he knocked on the door and barged right in.

When he said “put on your underwear, we need to talk” all I heard was “we need to talk”, so my anxious brain was already five steps ahead, fully prepared to have the “I’m leaving you” conversation partially naked. But, I did put on some underwear and we did talk.

And the conversation was almost identical to the ones in my recurring nightmares.  I guess it turns out I was the psychic all along.

The story does have a happy ending though.

Remember the man with the dark beard?  Well, it turns out he’s real.  He stares deeply into my eyes and I stare deeply into his.  Just like in my dream.  And, he’s incredibly smart, caring, funny, supportive and unreasonably handsome–and he has a perfect, jet black beard.  But, most importantly, he treats me like an equal, not someone who needs to be taken care of.  We communicate openly with one another and we can both marvel in the new experience of being loved and accepted.  Neither of our lives is easy, but is anyone’s life?  We’re there for each other and we’re open about who we are and what we need.

He knows that my dream of being a mother is still important to me, just like it was when I was 11.  I told him right away because, now, I trust my intuition and I value the importance of open communication in a relationship.

I still have dreams, but the dreams I have when I am awake are the ones that are most important to me now.  I don’t have nightmares about my partner anymore.  Instead, I have dreams of being a writer, a comic, a mother and an equal partner in a healthy relationship.  And you know what? I’m more than halfway there.

Now excuse me, I have a cassette tape to destroy.

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